More people eligible for scheme to groom translation talent in Singapore

Ms Fong Wai Yee, who has benefited from the Translation Talent Development Scheme, holding a copy of a book titled Say To Archippus that she translated from English to Chinese.
Ms Fong Wai Yee, who has benefited from the Translation Talent Development Scheme, holding a copy of a book titled Say To Archippus that she translated from English to Chinese.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - More Singaporeans will be eligible for a scheme to help boost translation standards here, following enhancements by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

The funding subsidy for the Translation Talent Development Scheme (TTDS) will be raised, while the qualifying criteria will be expanded, the ministry announced on Wednesday (March 31).

For example, translation and interpretation practitioners from the private sector will now need just one year of combined experience in translation and/or interpretation to qualify for the scheme, down from three years previously.

The majority of their expenses on capability development programmes related to translation, interpretation and/or language - including workshops, seminars and certification examinations - will also be subsidised.

They can get funding support for 95 per cent of such expenses, up from 90 per cent, and this is subject to a cap of $10,000 per recipient.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Sim Ann, who is also chairman of the National Translation Committee under MCI, said the TTDS recognises recipients' dedication to raising translation standards in Singapore.

She added that the translation community has a part to play in ensuring that those who prefer to communicate in their mother tongue languages are not left behind.

"I hope more Singaporeans who have a passion for translation and languages can step forward and take advantage of this expanded opportunity," she said.

A total of 20 people have benefited from TTDS since it was introduced in 2018. They include Ms Fong Wai Yee, 48, an executive assistant at business school Insead.

Ms Fong welcomed the move to expand eligibility for the scheme.

The grant she received last year helped to offset the costs of the master's programme in translation and interpretation at the Nanyang Technological University that she is enrolled in. She has been involved in volunteer translation projects and freelance translation work.

"Translation work gives you a sense of achievement - it is satisfying when you are able to help others navigate and bridge cultural differences ," she said.

Applications for the enhanced TTDS for this year will close on June 30. They can be made here.